We do not know his name: Klatsassin and the Chilcotin War


Piell (or Pierre) was a Tsilhqot'in accused of participating in the attack on Waddington's pack train. Allegedly, he was the son of Klatsassin, leader of the Tsilhqot'in warriors. In Matthew Begbie's trial notes, Piell was described as a "young, very mild-looking" boy. The newspaper suggested he was between 15 and 18 years of age.

At the Trial of Six Indians, evidence was presented to show that Piell had shot Alexander McDonald's horse. Although no witness testified that Piell had killed any member of the pack train, he, along with Klatsassin, Telloot, Chessus, and Tahpit, was sentenced to death by the Judge Begbie. He was hanged on October 27th, 1864.

Secondary Sources

Hewlett, Edward S. "The Chilcotin Uprising: A Study of Indian-European Relations in Nineteenth Century British Columbia." MA Thesis, UBC, 1972.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History